Bourbon Boom: The Rise & Growth of Kentucky Bourbon Popularity

Bourbon Boom: The Rise & Growth of Kentucky Bourbon Popularity

With families planning vacations around it and bars beginning to purchase the spirit by the barrel, the popularity of bourbon in the United States is easy to see. The bourbon boom is alive and some of the major contributing factors for the industry changes that have come about since Kentucky Renaissance are:

kentucky bourbon popularity

Flavored Whiskies and Bourbons

A quick walk down an aisle of your standard off-license is going to be a bit more ‘flavorful’ than it was only 5 years ago. Flavored spirits are more popular than ever and attracting a new audience of drinkers with flavors from honey and cherry to maple syrup and bacon. According to Nielsen Research, flavored whiskies in 2012 accounted for nearly 75 percent growth among all whiskies, and 42 percent of growth in bourbon.

While hardline fans of straight bourbon and whiskies are skeptical about the rise of flavored spirits, their current success is undeniable. They can serve as a gateway beverage for those moving beyond flavored vodkas and act as a stepping stone towards becoming Old Fashioned aficionados.

Booming Overseas Market

The meteoric rise in popularity of bourbon is well noted in the United States, however it may surprise you to know how popular the malted beverage has become overseas.

In 2012, spirit exports reached all-time high, selling a total of $1.34 billion worth of goods overseas with Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbons accounting for a whopping 69% of the total. The Kentucky Bourbon renaissance is alive and is spreading far beyond its bluegrass roots and research is showing that this growth is showing no signs of slowing down.

From, Euromonitor forecasts that by 2016, 70% of yearly US whiskey growth will come from non-US markets. The growth overseas is merely indicative of changing perceptions of the barreled-aged beverage. Does this mean that American palates are moving onto new beverages? Not at all. Domestic growth of Bourbon sales have exploded in the last decade, with the distillery tourism being a leading force behind the changes, which leads us into the third major factor.

Bourbon Tourism

Have you had the chance travel the Bourbon Trail yet? If not, it’s an expedition you may not want to miss. Covering over 200 miles and 9 distilleries in central Kentucky, the Bourbon Trail has it has become known links distilleries form Jim Beam to Maker’s Mark. Like the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, distilleries in Kentucky are focusing on expanding their tourist friendly facilities to focus on clients willing to visit them. A reason for this might be inherent to the mystique of bourbon itself. By providing facilities and distillery tours, bourbon makers are adding a true sense of authenticity to their brands. Consumers (and connoisseurs) can now see the very mash, the very barrels that their spirits are coming in. This added sense of rural authenticity is creating fans and promoters far and wide.

These are our thoughts on the major causes of Bourbon’s rising popularity and the so-called Bourbon Boom. What are some of your thoughts?

About Hillbilly Stills: Hillbilly Stills specializes in professional and home distilling equipment for moonshine. They are known for their copper moonshine still kits and their trademark Hillbilly Flute, a copper reflux column for alcohol distillation. All of the stills from Hillbilly Stills are made by hand in USA with the highest quality materials.

How to Home Distill for Cheap

How to Home Distill for Cheap

Are you reading this and have yet to make your own batch? Well, what are you waiting for? At Hillbilly Stills, we have the moonshine still kits that are perfect for would-be distillers of every level. If you are hesitant about jumping into distilling at home and don’t want to spend a lot of money up front, our starter level kits are ideal for learning how to distill.  And for those who have more knowledge and looking to seriously make moonshine at home for a hobby, our advanced kits are just right for you. Regardless of your level of expertise it is possible to home distill for cheap.

alcohol bootleg kits

If we still have your attention, Hillbilly Stills offers alcohol bootleg kits that are great for those who want to start small. It’s not distilling, but you’ll get to age your own alcohol the way you like it. The varieties of kits are:

  • Cherry Bourbon Whiskey
  • Honey Bourbon Whiskey
  • Kentucky Bourbon
  • Marks Bourbon Whiskey
  • Amber Caribbean Rum

All of these starter kits create 5 liters of alcohol and cost just over $100. They include a charred oak barrel, essence (different ones for different varieties,) a barrel cleaning kit, a funnel and instructions. The only additional item you need to purchase is the alcohol and you’ll be ready to start making a batch.

For the more ambitious who want to make everything from scratch, our 8 gallon copper moonshine still kit is a great way to save money while distilling at home. This copper still is one of our most popular moonshine stills. Included in this kit are an 8-gallon mash pot with a domed lid, a 2-inch copper pot still head, 2 bags of Hillbilly Stills turbo yeast, a hose kit and instructions. This kit is easy to set up and easy to use, but you do need to have your own heat source when using this kit. At under $500, this copper moonshine kit is an incredible deal.

copper moonshine still kit

The best home distilling money saving tip we could give is to purchase whole kits from knowledgeable companies. If you were to purchase each individual item in a kit separately, the total price would be way more than buying a kit. You also get the reassurance of knowing all the components will work together.

Home distilling is a craft that requires passion and skill, and it is a fun way to pass the time. There are many ways to spend money on home distilling, but these kits allow you to perfect your craft and distill at home on the cheap. The outcome will be exceptional and the experience you have is one that you will want to have again and again.